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Lenovo IdeaPad S340: Sleek, Lightweight, And Perfect For Everyday Use
A smartphone can handle almost all the operations of a laptop today, yet, we still prefer a laptop for its larger display, computational capabilities, and other functionalities. Brands like Dell, Acer, Lenovo, and others are popular among users. I recently began using the Lenovo IdeaPad S340 and I found quite a few plus points for the device.
Lenovo IdeaPad S340 Specifications
Lenovo, no doubt, has made a name for itself with its sleek and flexible designs for its laptops. The IdeaPad S340 that I used packs AMD Ryzen 5 CPU with the retail price of Rs. 63, 390. The laptop is compact and comes with some useful features. At the same time, it lacked in a few places. For one, I liked the sleek and lightweight design of the IdeaPad. I've explained in detail about the IdeaPad, its performance, and more.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U with Radeon Vega Mobile G
GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 8
RAM: 8GB DDR4
OS: Windows 10
Display: 14-inch Full HD
Storage: 512GB SSD
2 USB Type 3.1, one port supports charging
1 USB Type-C
1 Audio jack with combined with microphone
1 Card Reader
Build Quality: Sleek, Handy, And Lightweight
The design of the Lenovo IdeaPad S340 is perfect for an average user, for both work and other tasks. I used the laptop for a couple of weeks, where I would carry it to work in crowded metro trains, but it wasn't burdensome; thanks to its lightweight build that weighs only 1.6 kgs. Like some of the other Lenovo laptops, the IdeaPad is also flexible with the display and can be flattened out to 180-degrees.
The platinum-grey colored laptop has a plastic casing which is one of the reasons for its lightweight. The device has all the usual connectivity ports including the two USB Type 3.1 ports, where one port supports charging; one USB Type-C port; one port for HDMI connections; a card reader; and an audio jack.
However, Lenovo has skipped the LAN port, which I found to be a disappointment. I came across a few instances where I needed to connect to the laptop to the LAN, but I couldn't do so. There's a Wi-Fi 802.11ac connection support and Bluetooth 4.2 support.
Coming to the other half of the laptop, the keyboard skips the number pad for the 14-inch laptop. Like most laptops, the IdeaPad features a backlight for the keyboard. However, the white backlight dims a little when not in use and doesn't turn off completely. The touchpad is smooth without any right- and left-click bifurcations. Another feature I liked about the keyboard was that it hardly makes any sounds while typing.
Narrow Bezels Display
The display of the IdeaPad is noteworthy. The narrow bezels of the 14-inch laptop, combined with a full HD screen are ideal for both gaming and watching video content. I didn't find issues while watching movies or while performing other tasks. However, when I opened the IdeaPad to 180-degrees, I found the brightness to glare a bit, mainly towards the top-end of the screen while working on my doc file. But otherwise, it was comfortable to use, even on the couch.
Other useful features I found on the laptop are Eye Care Mode that adjusts the color temperature of the display to filter the blue light. When I turned on this mode, the display switched to a reddish-hue and the color temperature dropped to 4500K (I was sitting indoors). The Eye Care Mode can be accessed at the Lenovo Vantage tab.
Lenovo hasn't provided details about the peak and sustainable brightness. I found hardly any downsides with the display, even when viewed from various angles. The anti-glare display was good to use, even outdoors.
CPU, GPU: Smooth Performance
During the few weeks that I used the laptop, I hardly had any issues with its performance. Even while I ran multiple windows at the same time, there wasn't any lag while switching between them. I mostly used it for creating doc files and watching a couple of videos.
I ran the IdeaPad for long sessions a couple of times and yet, I have no complaints. There was hardly any lag while switching on the laptop again and it worked smoothly like always. Also, I tried some of the pre-installed games and apps like Candy Crush, Paint 3D and found no operational hindrances.
Going into further details about the performance, I ran a couple of benchmark tests to check the laptop's CPU performance. The IdeaPad S340 is packed with AMD Ryzen 5 3500U processor. The CPU scored 1399 points and ranked 10 on Cinebench. The rank is a point lower in comparison to a similar four-core, eight-thread Intel i7 CPU. I also checked the CPU performance on Geekbench 4, where the single-core score was 3809 and the multi-core score was 10804.
Following the CPU performance, I wanted to check how the IdeaPad's GPU performed. The laptop is equipped with AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPU. The laptop scored 455 on the Unigine Heaven benchmark. The frame rate (FPS) of the GPU was 18.1, where the minimum FPS was 6.1 and the maximum was 37.0. Considering the score doesn't go above 500, the laptop is not built for heavy games.
Dolby Audio For Entertainment
The Lenovo IdeaPad S340 comes with a Dolby Audio Premium 2 X 2W Speakers, which makes it perfect for entertainment purposes. The speakers are placed on either side at the back of the laptop to create a surround-sound atmosphere.
While watching movies, the Dolby Audio surround sound had a greater impact. The audio with earphones was also a commendable experience. An application-based setting adjusts the audio and display settings, depending upon the app in use. Also, the audio system automatically mutes other applications during VoIP calls like Skype.
The IdeaPad S340 features a slim 720p camera with a privacy shutter. The privacy shutter, I must say, is one of the unique features I found on the laptop. The concerns over privacy and security are many today and Lenovo has taken measures with the IdeaPad, which aren't seen with other laptops in the market.
The privacy shutter is a physical slider that can simply be swapped to the left to allow camera access. When the privacy shutter is switched on, a red screen/tape covers the camera lens. So, when the camera is accessed with the privacy shutter on, the screen turns red, blocking the person or their movements.
Lenovo Vantage has another option for camera privacy. When the Camera Privacy Mode is switched on, it will block all the apps from using the camera to record images. This setting can also be accessed from the Lenovo Vantage toolbar. There are no other security options apart from the privacy shutter, like a fingerprint sensor for the power button. Windows Hello Face or Fingerprint options are also unavailable. One needs to login with either a Microsoft account or a PIN to unlock the laptop.
The IdeaPad laptop is equipped with a 52.5Wh battery, which Lenovo claims to last up to 8 hours depending upon the usage. On a fully-charged laptop, the battery lasted roughly around the same time, while I worked on miscellaneous tasks like surfing the internet, creating doc files, and watched two movies on Netflix.
I also found a convenient setting, where the battery automatically switches to power-saver mode after it dropped to a certain percentage. By default, it's set to switch to power-saver mode once the battery drops below 20 percent. The setting can be changed by going to Start>Settings> Battery.
Here there's a horizontal scroll bar under the Battery Saver option that scrolls to the desired battery percentage. I kept a tab of the battery performance while at work. Here I found close-to-accurate battery performance details: It showed 4 hours of battery life while at 60 percent; three hours later, it had dropped to 25 percent and showed nearly one-and-a-half hours of remaining battery life.
Lenovo Vantage has a couple of battery settings like Conservation Mode, Rapid Charging, and more. Lenovo says the Conservation Mode is ideal to turn on while working with the power plugged in. This mode keeps the laptop running on approximately 60 percent battery life for optimum use and to expand the battery life. On the other hand, the Rapid Charging option will power the system faster than the usual time required. I found the Rapid Charging took one-and-a-half hours to full charge, which would otherwise take three hours.
The Lenovo Vantage is a useful application that's pre-set in the toolbar. The Lenovo Vantage application allows the user to personalize their laptop. System updates, hardware settings, health and support and more can be accessed here. As I've previously mentioned, many of the laptop settings can be changed using the Lenovo Vantage> Hardware Settings.
The Lenovo Vantage also gives information like the warranty of the laptop, security details like hardware scanning, and more. There's also a Lenovo Vantage Toolbar shortcut that's indicated with a battery icon. Settings like microphone, keyboard backlight, camera privacy, and more can be assessed with the shortcut.
Lenovo IdeaPad: What’s It Worth?
Pricing is one of the key determining factors for any gadget out there. The Lenovo IdeaPad S340 packed with AMD Ryzen is priced Rs. 63,390. The IdeaPad S340 is also available with Intel processors and the price starts from Rs. 37,990. For a similar price bracket, you will also find other laptops like the Dell 14 3480 and the Lenovo 330, which feature Intel Core i5 and 8GB RAM.
However, we're looking at AMD Ryzen processors here. You'll find the latest HP Enxy x360 and the Acer Nitro 5, which come with a price tag of Rs. 70K+ and Rs. 52K+, respectively. Moreover, the IdeaPad is not a game-centric device with its AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPU that's ideal for casual and occasional games.
Should You Buy It?
I keep stressing the thin and lightweight aspect of the laptop as it has suited me well for everyday use, even while carrying to work without being a huge burden. Apart from office use, the laptop is also comfortable for other personal use. The narrow bezels of the laptop give the most out of the display for a movie screening and other activities like mid-level gaming.
But those looking for gaming laptops, the IdeaPad S340 is certainly not an ideal choice. However, if you're a casual user looking for a smooth performing laptop with a lightweight build, then the IdeaPad is the right choice, value for money.